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Final fate rests on jury in Strampel's case

Posted at 12:23 PM, Jun 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 23:38:59-04

LANSING, Mich. — After seven days of testimonies, William Strampel's trial has reached the point of closing arguments and expected jury deliberation.

Prosecutor Danielle Hagaman-Clark began closing statements by reiterating how much power Strampel had over students.

She repeated to they jury what the current, and former, students testified that Strampel told them from talking about sending nude photographs, to asking how many classmates are virgins.

As part of her closing argument, Hagaman-Clark talks about what Strampel allegedly said to students. She said that all women were charging their dreams of becoming a doctor and that he had the power to stop them.

She said that students were expected to be belittled, not talked to in a sexual manner. She said the students preferred to be belittled.

She then switched focus to the two witnesses that were used as clinical skills models.

"For what medical purpose is he sticking his fingers in her vagina?" Hagaman-Clark asked.

Hagaman-Clark said there was no other reason he did those physical therapy exams than for his sexual gratification. She said Strampel had more than just clinical interest in the models.

She talked about the recruitment process, payment and more for clinical skills models, arguing that the two who testified were not part of that process as they were paid under the table in cash.

Talking specifically about count five of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the second degree, Hagaman-Clark referred to the testimony from Dr. Jessica Neuroth, who claimed Strampel groped her while she was receiving a scholarship.

She also referred to the testimony from Dr. Nicole Eastman, who said the same thing happened at a ball.

Hagaman-Clark then switches to the Willful Neglect of Duty charge. She said that he neglected to handle the Larry Nassar situation by allowing him to go back to work during the Title IX investigation.

As Nassar's former boss, the other count of Willful Neglect of Duty has to do with the three protocols that Nassar was supposed to follow, which were having a chaperone during patients' visits, wearing gloves during procedures and having informed consent from the patient.

Hagaman-Clark told the jury that the testimonies are consistent. She talked about how Leak Jackson and Alicia Flores brought their dads to a meeting with Strampel, and how Priyanka Pandey testified that she hid her phone in her purse to record Strampel in a meeting.

She closed the argument by asking the jury to find Strampel guilty on all four counts.

Then the time came for defense to make their closing arguments.
Defense Attorney John Dakmak began his closing argument by talking about Strampel's character. He said that context does not equal corruption.

He asked the jury not to judge the conduct of the University during the Nassar case. He said Nassar was cleared of all wrongdoing during the first investigation.

He said there is no evidence that proved Nassar failed to follow the protocols given to him by Strampel, adding that there is no evidence that said Nassar failed to follow the protocols given to him by Strampel.

On Willful Neglect of Duty: Dakmak asked the jury to think about who specifically neglected their duty. He said nothing on the record suggests anything about the neglect being willful.

Dakmak said that Strampel did everything he could in removing Nassar from MSU when the first report came out of his sexual assaults.

He said that Strampel did everything he could in removing Nassar from MSU when the first report came out of his sexual comments.

He said testimonies did nothing to help the jury understand how the University went about handling the Nassar allegations.

He told the jury that no one knows what happened between 2014 and 2016, and because of that, he said Strampel should not get punished.

He said in order to convict Dr. Strampel, he must had had an intent of corruption going through his head.

Dakmak then focused on what Strampel told the witnesses. He said that witnesses never testified that Strampel directly solicited anything from them.

"This contextual approach the government is taking is just dead wrong," Dakmak said.

He added that there's no corrupt intent found in what Strampel said.

Dakmak then talked about Dr. Pandey's recording. He said what Pandey testified does not correlate to what's in the recording.

Dakmak asked the jury, "where's the corruption that sits inside this man?"

He said that foul language alone is not enough to convict him and that there needs to be more to it than just what he told students.

Dakmak switches gears to discuss the Criminal Sexual Conduct charge. He said that there's more to Neuroth's testimony than meets the ear. He brings up her testimony where she said she "turned her ears off" in a meeting with Strampel that Dakmak said defined her future.

He talks about the event where Neuroth claimed Strampel groped her. He said it's odd that at a later event Strampel looked at her and spoke sexually in front of his wife.

Dakmak said it matters when so many years go by and, "nobody says anything about anything."

He said there would be a better case had they reported it right away rather than four years later.

As he continued his closing argument, Dakmak brought up the lack of reporting done by Title IX reporters and military who were required to report misconduct.

Dakmak tells the jury the testimonies in this case don't add up.

In regards to Eastman's testimony, Dakmak asked how the only thing she's sure of is that Strampel groped her and that she doesn't remember who she was with except her husband, who Dakmak said contradicted his wife's testimony.

He told the jury that in order for a conviction to be made, you need corruption and intent. He told the jury to sit in judgment of their fellow citizen.

"It must be challenged," Dakmak said. "You must be skeptical."

Dakmak then stepped down and the court went into a 15-minute recess.
Following the recess, Judge Draganchuk addressed the courtroom. She said someone in court held up a sign saying "Me Too."

She said that the person was removed from the court room, and reminded everyone that they cannot do that and will be held in contempt of court by doing so.

Following that, prosecution stepped up for rebuttal.

She reminded the jury that Strampel had a lot to do with why the Nassar situation went the way it did. Regarding the testimony from Eastman, she said, "When are we going to start believing victims?"

In regards to Strampel's language in the meetings, Hagaman-Clark references the testimonies of Leah Jackson and Alicia Flores. She brings up how both times Strampel denied them early, but talked to them about sexual things.

She said it's the words and context of being in a professional meeting that makes him guilty.

When it comes to the witnesses, Hagaman-Clark said that some did not wait years to tell others about what Strampel said.

"MSU knew about these behaviors for a very long time," Hagaman-Clark said.

She said they prioritized the development of the school over their female students.

She talked about the other witnesses in her rebuttal. She said Strampel told them what he was doing, that physical exams had a medical purpose, but she adds that it didn't.

"Should these women have to listen to this sexually inappropriate language? They're simply trying to become doctors," Hagaman-Clark said. "They should not have to put up with that in order to become doctors."

Prosecution rests.

The judge then instructed the jury. Since the jury for this case was made up of 14 members, two members were randomly selected to leave.

The jury was then sent to the jury room to begin deliberation.

Watch the link below.
Strampel is accused of sexually assaulting women and misconduct in office.

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